During these times of uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus, those in the electrical trade may find not only their business and work being negatively impacted, but also their mental health. The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) is keen to outline what support it can provide to industry members. Please read on for our 30th July update.
We understand this is a complex and difficult time for everyone. We are living in a time of great uncertainty and increasing worry about our health and livelihoods. We understand that the effect of COVID-19 on industry and income will be great and we will all be affected. In times of darkness and insecurity we want to let our Industry members know, that we will be here to help you.
The Government’s Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme allows members of the public to receive a voucher worth up to £50 towards the cost of repairing a bicycle.
Registrations for members of the public who want to apply for a voucher are now open on the Energy Saving Trust website. The scheme is open to anyone in England who has an unused cycle in need of a repair. However, as there are a limited number of vouchers available, please consider the needs of others before applying for a voucher and do not delay making planned repairs outside of the scheme should your circumstances allow it. Vouchers can only be used with bike repairers or mechanics that are registered for the scheme in England, and up to two vouchers can be claimed per household.
All travellers from Spain to the UK must self-isolate at home for two weeks, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced. Travel insurance for British holidaymakers already in Spain will remain in effect; UK travellers in Spain are not being advised to leave. But anyone travelling to the mainland against Foreign Office advice will find their policy is invalid.
Further update on Spanish travel the Foreign Office have now included the Balearics and Canaries in advising only essential travel.
Airlines will not issue refunds on Spain flights despite quarantine measures. Airlines will not offer refunds to passengers due to fly to the Spanish islands should they wish to cancel their holiday in the face of quarantine measures. Ryanair and Jet2 have both said they do not plan to reduce capacity in the wake of the British government's decision to impose shock restrictions on all but non-essential travel to the country. The Foreign Office has issued a travel advisory for mainland Spain, but not for the popular holiday destinations of the Balearic and Canary Islands, meaning airlines are not legally obliged to offer refunds to passengers who do not travel.
Salary – Employed and Self-employed support
How to cut your tax bill whilst working from home – the government are paying you back some of the tax you would have paid on your additional energy usage whilst working from home (unless it’s working from home by choice). They will pay the tax back on £6 of the energy used per week. That doesn't mean you save £6 a week - you only save the tax you would have paid on it. That works out as £1.20 a week (or around £62 a year) for a basic rate taxpayer, or £2.40 a week (£104 a year) for a higher rate taxpayer. It is possible to claim more than £6 a week, but you must provide paperwork to support your claim.
Mental Health Support
Check in with your digital wellbeing - https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/maintaining-digital-wellbeing-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/
Guidance on how to support people during COVID-19 - https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/coronavirus
- The charity will consider providing small grants in immediate and urgent need.
- Provide advice to industry individuals regarding financial relief strategies and support services available to them.
- Provide support to employees worried about income, having to work and/or losing their employment.
- Strategies to implement immediately to soften the financial burden i.e. mortgage/rent holiday’s, freezing of gym memberships and others.
- Signposting to other welfare services and charities for support.
- Review of individual welfare benefits, your eligibility and support with the application process were necessary.
- Food vouchers if in immediate and urgent need.
Mental Health Support
- Self-isolation is likely to have a negative impact on our mental health and it is important we remain aware of this and try to buffer against it by putting support strategies in place. The EIC can recommend support strategies to help you cope through this time of isolation.
- Telephone and skype counselling are available to industry members.
- Psychiatric assessments for complex mental health issues are available to industry members.
- Signposting to other mental health support services and online services.
Symptoms, hygiene and self-isolation
- The EIC is recommending that individuals with pre-existing health conditions i.e. undergoing cancer treatment, heart disease, diabetes and others should self-isolated and managers need to be informed as soon as possible if you care for or reside with a family member or person who is deemed as having pre-existing health conditions. The EIC can provide further guidance to you if you feel unsure as to how to communicate this to your employer.
- Hygiene tips and resources
- Managing self-isolation